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Meghalaya strums Dylan number for world record

Meghalaya strums Dylan number for world record

Over 2000 guitarists will perform at a record-breaking strumming session in Shillong.

Shillong: Bob Dylan's classic number 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' will reverberate in the hills of the picture-postcard capital of Meghalaya on Friday, when more than 2,000 guitarists will perform at a record-breaking strumming session to break the current Guinness Book of World Records for guitar ensemble.

"The response among guitarists is great and we expect a lot of support coming in from neighbouring Assam as well," said M Lansing, vice-president of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum .

Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum is organising the event which aims to break the existing record, currently held by an ensemble of 1,721 guitarists who had performed at Kansas City in the United States.

The 2000-strong guitar ensemble, called Rhythms of Meghalaya, is scheduled to be the opening item at the 10-day long Autumn Festival that will commence on Friday at a sports stadium.

"We have decided not only to break the existing record but hold on to it for a longer time because a similar record-attempting event is coming up in London a few days later," Lansing said.

"Almost every second or third person in Meghalaya knows how to play the guitar and owns one and so it should not be a problem to assemble 2,000-odd guitarists for the event," said state education minister and chairman of the Forum, R G Lyngdoh.

Lyngdoh said they have zeroed in on the popular Bob Dylan number "as it has three chords, and because the lyrics match our state which is also known as the abode of the clouds".

Many guitarists from Assam are already on their way to Shillong

.

"Musicians from all over the north-east ought to join the ensemble to break and hold on to the record. We are trying our best to gather as many guitarists as possible," said J P Das, a veteran guitarist, who is making his way to Shillong to join the ensemble.

The organisers have invited an adjudicator from Guinness.

"We are trying to promote the region through music. Last year it was the drum circle and this time the guitar ensemble and maybe the next year something different," Lyngdoh said, referring to last year's Autumn Festival, where a band of 7,951 drummers had set a new world record for the largest drum ensemble by performing for more than five minutes in perfect rhythm.

first published:October 26, 2007, 01:28 IST